Cindytalk: Hold Everything Dear (Editions Mego)
Hold Everything Dear begins and ends with far-off recordings of children at play, then drawing closer and closer to the foreground. In between those bookends we’re taken from the familiar to the disorienting, with a swirl of drones, windchimes and effects, taking us below the surface (or perhaps far, far above it) into another world. It’s an often interesting and at times confusing mix of sounds, combining field recordings with stark piano playing, drones and textures. The piano is intimate and ponderous and sounds improvised, like a series of thoughts sorting themselves out. But this is not sentimental music, even as it is a eulogy to Cindytalk collaborator Matt Kinnison, who passed away a few years ago. At times the sound is more vague, less obvious, like the field recordings and drones that crescendo on “In Dust To Delight” or the looming, tense feedback waves and chimes of “Fly Away Over Here.” But the intersection of treated piano recordings and effects on “Fallen Obi” and “Waking in the Snow” provide a nice counterpoint to the album’s more menacing pieces. “Those That Tremble As If They Were Mad” bristles with tension, perhaps inspired by some of the energy of Pendereckí’s more haunting pieces, while “Hanging In The Air” is more nebulous, reminding me of Kim Cascone’s retired PGR project. The variety is refreshing, blending moods and timbres while feeling cohesive, recommended for listeners willing to explore the outer limits.